Presidential candidates face off

Elections for student government across ASU’s four campuses are approaching, and The State Press conducted a survey of the presidential candidates on each campus.

Elections for the undergraduate student governments on all four campuses and the Graduate and Professional Student Association are April 6 and 7.

Cast your vote on myASU and read about the Polytechnic, West, Downtown and graduate candidates below.

Associated Students of ASU West

Twyla Haggarty

Year and major:

Sophomore, political science, emphasis in Latin American politics

Running mates:

None.

Platform includes:

Inviting the Arizona Students’ Association back to West campus, promoting cooperation between student leaders from different clubs through the Club Council, separating the senate from the executive council to improve accountability and creating an institutionalized process for students to go above student government when they feel they need to.

Q: Why are you running for office?

A: I am running for office because I am passionate about student activism.

I have extensive experience running organizations and managing large groups of people.

I am the perfect candidate to empower students because I have been working in student empowerment since I was 15 years old, so my knowledge in the subject is extensive.

I have seen so much desire from West students to become involved, and I would be the perfect president to facilitate and support that development.

Q: What experience qualifies you for the position?

A: I have run grassroots campaigns with Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) as a vice president. I have lots of grassroots mobilizing skills, and I know how to train students in these areas.

I’m also the associate training director for the Phoenix Chapter of Amigos de las Americas, where I train high school and college students to carry out grassroots initiatives in Latin America.

I have also worked with Young Women Christian Association, an organization committed to fighting racism and sexism.

Currently, I am a senator in the Associated Students of ASU West. My experience makes me prepared to be a strong leader on day one.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue of the election?

A: Accountability. Student government needs to be held accountable by students, and there needs to be institutionalized processes for students to truly hold their student government accountable.

Q: What is the No. 1 change you would like to see on the West campus? Why, and how will you reach this goal?

A: I would like to see increased student involvement. As ASU students, we have so many resources at our disposal that student government needs to make available to students in order to encourage student involvement.

Club Council was established this past year, and this is an excellent opportunity to have campus leaders together. Club Council is the perfect opportunity to run trainings in recruitment, student mobilizing and other important grassroots organizing skills.

Q: What unique issues face the West campus and how will you address them?

A: Student involvement. As a candidate with extensive knowledge in grassroots organizing, I know how to mobilize students and build leadership.

Q: What makes your ticket unique?

A: My platform is unique because it is based on building leadership on campus. Students have great potential and student government needs to support and facilitate this development, something I will be ready to do on day one.

Daniel Hatch

Year and major:

Senior, political science

Running mates:

Angie Beiler, Alejandra Valenzuela, Sasha Bilbe

Platform Includes:

Mitigation of cost of attendance rise by legislation and fee control negotiation, fighting for lower and predictable textbook pricing, increasing academic program options, raising the visibility and political capital of the West Campus.

Q: Why are you running for office?

A: ASU at the West Campus, specifically, nationally ranks in an elite category rivaling that of much bigger schools across the state and country. I believe in the potential of West, and it is an honor and privilege to serve my University and its students.

Q: What experience qualifies you for the position?

A: Not only do I have a solid pre-university grounding in management working for the state’s largest private employer, I have spent the past year lobbying on behalf of all three public institutions in our state. Over that time I have built relationships with legislators, administrators and organizations that are vital to the future goals and growth of our campus.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue of the election?

A: Simply, total cost of attendance predictability. The State Legislature and Board of Regents have been dealt an impossible hand not only through the global financial crisis, but also the inability of the general public to see the merits of an educated population.

Community outreach is essential if we want to continue to benefit from the high quality of education that is currently provided at West.

Arizona suffers from a general lack of support for higher education. Other states have legislatively set, permanent funding, whereas our state’s contributions swing wildly with public opinion.

Arizonans need to see that an educated public is more productive, pays more taxes, commits less crime and attracts more outside investments from large companies and firms.

Q: What is the No. 1 change you would like to see on the West campus? Why, and how will you reach this goal?

A: I would like to see more programs and more students at West and will vigorously and vocally pursue that goal with University administration, the Arizona Board of Regents and state legislators.

Q: What unique issues face the West campus and how will you address them?

A: We have diverse and nontraditional populations who often have obstacles outside the University that can add to the challenge of obtaining an education. My goal is to create an environment through student input that provides opportunities for creative solutions to those obstacles.

Q: What makes your ticket unique?

A: I am running with an experienced executive council that is already attuned to the needs and unique politics of the campus. We are a cohesive team that has been successfully working together for over a year and are prepared to hit the ground running with strategies to solutions that have been determined most crucial by our student body.

Associated Students of ASU Downtown

Andres Cano

Year and major: Freshman, broadcast journalism

Running mate:

Vaughn Hillyard

State Press Television By Cassondra Strande

Platform includes:

Negotiating with local restaurants and Aramark to increase dining options for students using Sun Dollars, increasing the number of financial aid and scholarship workshops, lobbying ASU faculty to explore affordable options when choosing course material, like open-source textbooks.

Q: Why are you running for office?

A: We live, eat, socialize and attend classes downtown. We know the issues and envision a productive student government actively fighting on behalf of its constituents.

We've immersed ourselves in the downtown community over the last year, have the experience students need for these positions and are committed to ensuring a quality education and healthy student experience at ASU Downtown.

Q: What experience qualifies you for the position?

A: As a freshman senator with ASASUD, I've gained the experience needed to establish a new direction for ASASUD. I've continually fought for Downtown students and have been an active member of ASASUD's Budget Allocations Safety Committees. I have worked with numerous student organizations to enhance Downtown student life and improve communication between students and their government.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue of the election?

A: We believe it is critical for ASASUD to begin efforts that encourage Downtown students to hold our state legislators accountable for the votes they cast against higher education.

Under our leadership, we will focus on registering student voters to participate in the 2010 midterm elections during the fall semester.

Q: What is the No. 1 change you would like to see on the Downtown campus? Why, and how will you reach this goal?

A: The ASU Downtown campus is in the heart of the fifth largest city in America. Vibrant restaurants, businesses and organizations surround us; this diverse culture deserves to be promoted, and students will benefit from immersing themselves in it. We need to view our campus as an urban campus embedded within a larger, fully dynamic community.

Q: What unique issues face the Downtown campus and how will you address them?

A: Need for increased dining options: Vaughn and I have advocated for more restaurants around campus to accept M&G Dollars and expand Sun Dollar options.

Affordability: promising tuition will not increase is not a promise any candidate can make. Vaughn and I will fight for realistic and attainable solutions to maintain quality education at an affordable price.

Q: What makes your ticket unique?

A: Vaughn and I have the vision needed to transform our downtown student government. Our campus is growing every year, and we need effective leadership so ASASUD can continue moving forward in a positive direction.

Christian Vasquez

Year and major:

Junior, sociology and psychology; nonprofit administration minor

Running mates:

Jessica Abercrombie

State Press Television Cassondra Strande

Platform includes:

Hosting community fairs to connect students with on-campus organizations and off-campus businesses, registering downtown students to vote, increasing campus safety and promoting work-study programs

Q: Why are you running for office?

A: I’m running because I believe in making the Downtown campus efficient with leaders who can adequately apply their knowledge of the student body throughout the composing facets of student government.

Q: What experience qualifies you for the position?

A: I worked for USG last year and am currently an executive officer for the Associated Students of Arizona State University Downtown. I also serve on the executive board of directors for the United States Student Association and represent students at the national level.

The Arizona Board of Regents decides on any tuition and fee increases. I have advocated for students when meeting Regents in the past and is committed to continuing these relationships in the upcoming school year.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue of the election?

A: Choosing a leader that is experienced and has the time to serve the students.

Q: What is the No. 1 change you would like to see on the Downtown campus? Why, and how will you reach this goal?

A: A greater sense of community. We will connect students to the many student organizations on our campus as well as connect them to the many businesses in the city of Phoenix.

Q: What unique issues face the Downtown campus and how will you address them?

A: Our campus and student government are new and still growing. By having an experienced leader, we can ensure that our campus is as successful as possible now and in the future.

Q: What makes your ticket unique?

A: I am a commuter student, Jessica is an on-campus resident, and we understand the needs of students from every demographic and can adequately serve and represent the students of the Downtown campus.

Associated Students of ASU Polytechnic

Dominick Hernandez

Year and major:

Senior, business administration and supply chain management

Running mates:

None

Platform includes:

Finalizing the creation of a new Polytechnic Recreation Center and additional dormitories, ensuring the safety of the students through proper ADA sidewalks, repaired streets, parking lots and sufficient campus illumination

Q: Why are you running for office?

A: I care deeply about the Polytechnic campus, and for the past two years I have been extremely active in both student organizations and campus events. I have worked alongside and supported the past two student government administrations in their efforts to better the campus.

Q: What experience qualifies you for the position?

A: I am a six-year Army veteran, Arizona Student Association director for spring 2009, ASU representative to the 2009 Arizona Town Hall, Member of the Campus Environment Team, founder of the Artist Mic Night, co-founder of Sigma Alpha Pi Leadership and Success Society, founding member of the Students Act Now for Sustainability Polytechnic Club and MLK Student Servant Leadership recipient for 2010.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue of the election?

A: Finalizing the creation of a new Polytechnic recreation center and dormitories, both of which are already funded and won’t lead to tuition increases. Creating campus roads, sidewalks and parking lots, and proper illumination on campus.

Q: What is the No. 1 change you would like to see on the Polytechnic campus? Why, and how will you reach this goal?

A: We have some of the best administrative and classroom buildings at ASU, but we are lacking the infrastructure to support and grow the Polytechnic campus. I will accomplish this goal with my proven leadership, my knowledge of the current issues and my experience dealing with the ASU administration.

Q: What unique issues face the Polytechnic campus and how will you address them?

A: With the departure of almost all of the veteran student government officers, I find myself being the most experienced person left on campus who fully understands the projects and issues.

Former Presidents Kelly Stewart and Matt McCoy were awesome leaders, and because of their efforts, they have put in place three major projects that are almost finalized that will greatly benefit the Polytechnic Campus: a new recreation center, new dormitories, and repaired streets, parking lots, sidewalks and improved campus illumination.

It is my goal to see that these projects get finalized, ground is broken and construction starts.

Utilizing the support of the entire ASU student body, administration, and student government from all campuses, I will accomplish my goals.

Q: What makes your ticket unique?

A: My leadership experience as a six-year Army veteran, my five years experience as the director of franchise relations for a national franchise company, the countless awards and honors I have received in part of my dedication, determination, excellence and commitment.

Victoria Nuciforo

Year and major:

Junior, financial services

Running Mates:

None

Platform includes:

Enhancing campus and college life by increasing student involvement, improving the use of student fees and fighting for lower tuition costs.

Q: Why are you running for office?

A: To me, student government is not just an extracurricular activity aside from my school studies — it’s a way of making a difference in education.

Since attending Arizona State University, I have become very interested in how the student fee is allocated, lower tuition rates and reduced costs for textbooks, including an open textbook program.

Q: What experience qualifies you for the position?

A: I’ve been involved with student leadership since 2002 because I’m passionate about active campus involvement.

Here at ASU, I am currently an intern with the Arizona Students’ Association, lobbying for lower tuition rates.

I’m also a current member of the ASASUP student government Advancement Committee.

I’ve worked hard and enjoyed the challenges of these positions and not only lived up to the responsibilities of them, but exceeded the expectations.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue of the election?

A: I believe the most important issue in this election deals with tuition and the state budget crisis. Since the state of Arizona has made cuts in the amount subsidized to higher education, tuition rates have increased and are continuing to rise.

As student body president, I will become a voting member of the Arizona Students’ Association and work with the Arizona Board of Regents to support lower tuition costs.

Q: What is the No. 1 change you would like to see on the Polytechnic campus? Why, and how will you reach this goal?

A: The biggest change I would like to see on campus is making it safer for our students. There are many areas in need of repair and lack proper lighting. Last year a student was hit by a car due in part to a poorly lit parking lot. Some parts of our campus even lack sidewalks for students walking to class.

Q: What unique issues face the Polytechnic campus and how will you address them?

A: Our campus used to be a U.S. Air Force base. The buildings are old and many classrooms are too small for our growing population.

Also, we have trouble advertizing on campus because there are not enough resources and areas for clubs to promote themselves visibly. This means a lack extracurricular involvement for our students.

Q: What makes your ticket unique?

A: I have plenty of experience working with large budgets, education issues and student government because I was heavily involved at my high school and community college. I have attended many student government meetings this past year, and I believe I am familiar with the issues the Polytechnic campus is facing.

Graduate & Professional Student Association

Kelley Stewart

Year and major:

Graduate student in the Mary Lou Fulton Institute and College of Graduate Education.

Platform includes:

Increasing transparency in student government spending by providing information for students to review online and improving on-campus bike storage and other bike, board and pedestrian friendly accommodations.

Q: Why are you running for office?

A: I am running for president of GPSA because graduate and professional students across all four campuses deserve experienced student government leaders ready to respond during these chaotic times.

Q: What experience qualifies you for the position?

A: I am the current GPSA vice president of External Affairs and a veteran of the Associated Students of ASU, having served two terms as the student body president at the Polytechnic campus prior to joining GPSA in 2009.

Q: What is the No. 1 change you would like to see? Why, and how will you reach this goal?

A: I would like to see more students raising their voices on issues that affect them and their fellow students.

ASU students are being educated as critical thinkers; I believe that it is time students feel empowered to come up with solutions for ASU's budget crisis.

Protests alone are not the answer. We have other choices we can make. We can join a coalition, advocate for dedicated state funding streams and support Prop. 100. Standing silent is not an option.

I would also like to eliminate the word "disestablished" from the Arizona State University system dialogue.

Reach the reporter at keshoultz@asu.edu


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